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November 2015
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Freedom ? – By Tipperary Born Poet Gerry Cullen.

The winter has well and truly arrived. I state this not because of any strong winds and torrential downpours of rain experienced over the past week.

Rather because that keen environmentalist and green fingered hill poet Mr Gerry Cullen has returned to sit by his fire to reflect, share thoughts; writing rhyme about happenings, as he observes them in his native County of Tipperary.

Here he reflects so accurately on the recent crime wave that has hit our county; the failure of our justice system and the need for proper Garda resources.

Freedom ?

Latest poem courtesy of our resident Tipperary Bard, Mr Gerry Cullen. ©


Poet Gerry Cullen.

“There was ne’er a Guard for ages and then ‘Operation Thor,’
They were on the cross this mornin, to check if me tyres were wore.
Speed checks in the 50 zone and checkpoints, ten a penny,
And all the scum-bags out on bail; all thanks to Enda Kenny.
Now rural crime is handy cash, for all who take their chance.
The dirt-bags and their legal teams, enjoy a merry dance.
They’re laughing at the victims, and laughing at the law.
It’s child’s play for the low-life, there’s a justice systems flaw.
But then the Guards are doin the job, they nab the average Joe,
It’s pointless nabbin dangerous crooks, the Judges let them go.
So no point getting hurt or killed, the guards are plagued by rules.
So they do the handy numbers, in this Island run by ‘Tools.’
Now don’t be fooled by power of vote, to choose a different crew.
No bloody feckin difference, to the likes of me and you.
Promise this and promise that and give the usual spin.
One thing certain, memories fade the minute they get in.
The aim is ‘line their pockets’, ‘look after number one’.
Your vote goes to recycling, once election time is done.
But I think I feel a rumble, like a roaring thunderous wave
But it’s just our Easter heroes, all turning in the grave.”

Nice one Gerry!

Are Irish People Mathematically Illiterate?


No offence intended, but are Irish people mathematically illiterate?

“Take care of the pennies, George, and the pounds will take care of themselves”, warned my now late Grandmother, Eliza Jane; using, as only she was wont to do, a well-known pithy saying which acknowledged general basic truth.

Recent happenings in relation to our day to day financial spending now beg the question; “Do our primary schools actually teach basic mathematics to our children anymore?”

So called ‘Copper’ coins holding values of one and two cent are now on their way out in seven EU countries, with Ireland the latest to drop their circulation, using a system known as “Rounding up or Rounding down”.

From the end of last month, (October 2015), our countries retailers are required to ‘Round Up or Down’ to the nearest five cent; in our present governments effort to phased out the daily use of small coinage. Now ask yourself; “Who will most benefit from this decision?”  These coins (generally referred to as Coppers), are composed of just copper-covered steel. This ‘glorified shrapnel’ referred to as coinage have been in use since 2002, though some are dated 1999, which is the year the Euro was first created as a currency, but never placed into general circulation.

Some 3 cents in every Irish Euro are now being stolen, yes stolen, from the pockets of consumers by this Irish Fine Gael /Labour led government decision. Same represents €3 in hidden taxation in every €100; the equivalent of €30 in hidden taxation on every €1,000 earned annually.

Based on an unemployed persons income, (under the age of 21), same persons who currently only receives €100 from the Irish State weekly, thanks to the Labour Party; they stand to lose annually, €150. It follows therefore that Old Age Pensioner in receipt of €200 per week now stand to lose some €300 annually. The recent Fine Gael /Labour Vote buying election Budget for 2016, which so generously granted old age pensioners an increase of a meagre €3.00 per week or €3 x 52 weeks = €156 annually, has actually reduced their annual existing pension by some €144 per year. (The imposition of €0.50 cents added to a packet of ‘fags’ had already cost these pensioners some €3.50 per week, based on the purchase of one packet per day.)

So what will this estimated annual €3 million saving, gained by no longer manufacturing these one and two cent coins; not to mention the extra hidden taxation imposed on daily consumers, be used to support? Will it be handed to Irish Water; used to solve issues in Homelessness, Social Housing, Education, Hospital Services, the Nation Debt, or will it go to pay for endless Independent Enquiries, Government Consultants etc.; surely taxpayers are entitled to some basic information from the Minister for Finance, Openness and Transparency, Mr Michael Noonan?

Remember our last efforts in January 2002 to “Round up and Round Down”; when a previous government-made decision to dump the Irish pound, was introduced, to favour the introduction of our present weak Euro, was “Rounded Down”?

Maybe it is now time to update and re-write this age old English proverb to read; “Get rid of your pennies and the government will take care of your pounds.”

Maybe we could have a Referendum and when we agree on a correct wording, if passed, add it into the Irish Constitution to assist government theft into the future.

Lowry – Lisheen Mine – “Lift Prevailing Veil Of Secrecy”

Lisheen Mine, Moyne, Co Tipperary

Lisheen Mine, Moyne, Co. Tipperary.

Thurles and Co. Tipperary TD Michael Lowry, yesterday demanded that the ‘prevailing veil of secrecy’, on issues regarding the imminent closure of Lisheen Mine, must now be discussed openly.

In a statement, published on his website yesterday, the Tipperary Deputy stated; “Following repeated requests for openness on the future plans for Lisheen Mine, the official response has been one of continuous drawn out silence.

In 2012, I sent a written letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny requesting state intervention and to this end a Task Force was set up to assist in identifying alternative sources of employment. To date this Task Force has remained silent in relation to details of any future developments which may be pending. In November 2014, I again raised this issue in the Dáil, stressing the extreme gravity of this situation and the need for immediate and pressing action.”

Lowry goes on to state that Lisheen Mine, first established in 1997, has been one of the most important sources of employment here in Co. Tipperary in most recent years. However despite repeated appeals for immediate action, the continued secrecy surrounding action on Lisheen Mine, will soon contribute to the ‘long term detrimental effect’, of our Tipperary’s economy.”

Prophesying an uncertain future ahead for Thurles and Co. Tipperary, based on a this ‘prevailing veil of secrecy’, Michael Lowry, states  “The negative effects, which will be felt by both Tipperary and indeed the greater national economy can be forecast as follows,” :-

(1) Unemployment for a workforce of 380 people; amounting to some €28 million in wages and salaries lost annually, much of which is spent in the local economy.
(2) The immediate loss, by supportive local service industries, particularly in the areas of transport, fuel, tyres, general hardware, etc.; with an estimated loss expected to be in the order of some €14 million.
(3) Lisheen Mine has also been a major source of support and funding to local clubs, amenities and charities.
(4) A large well-appointed and resourced site, for the foreseeable future, will be left to lie, for the most part, redundant.

Michael Lowry is confident that this mine complex today has huge potential for immediate future investment; highlighting its immediate advantages which include:-

(A) Extensive modern offices and outbuildings, on site ready for immediate occupation.
(B) Major access via Rail and Motorway nearby, to a 1200 acre site.
(C) One of the biggest existing 38 kV electricity supply sources in the country.
(D) A massive underground aquifer capable of supplying millions of gallons of water daily.
(E) Most importantly an adaptable, highly committed workforce with an impeccable industrial relations record.

“With the rural economy continuing to decline, I now call upon the Task Force to report direct to Tipperary County Council membership and all elected membership for the county, so that established facts can be assembled and debated. I have formally requested the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, to acknowledge the full consequences of this imminent closure and to ensure that State Agencies come forward to play a real meaningful role in directing alternative industry to the site.” stated Michael Lowry.

Michael Lowry’s statement highlighting Lisheen Mine can be read in full by clicking HERE.

Michael Lowry Demands New Deal For Borrowers

repossessSpeaking on local radio stations across Co. Tipperary yesterday, Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry accused financial institutions of being greedy, aggressive and often arrogant in their treatment of ordinary house-holders and their families.

Following a review undertaken by the Deputy; he is now aware that appearing before the Court in Nenagh in recent weeks, financial institutions sought some 86 applications for home repossessions, with similar figures being repeated in the town of Clonmel.

Deputy Lowry stated, “The majority of these applications are causing intense anxiety, distress and disruption to Tipperary individuals and their families, who remain, firmly, the victims of a banking industry which has been permitted to run out of control.”

Deputy Lowry continued, “At present, borrowers are being held to account for the behaviour of these financial institutions who are permitted to sail completely free of having to take any share of the responsibility for the chaos and heart-break. This present crisis has been caused primarily by these same financial institutions, which had to hand all the advantages of ‘top-notch’ advice and have spent the last year before the Banking Inquiry, unable to recall their past actions and refusing profusely to take any responsibility for their totally dissolute actions.”

“I firmly believe that borrowers, particularly distressed home-owners, should get some respite. Why should thousands of individuals and whole families be put on local authority housing lists, simply because bankers became fixated; wildly encouraging people to borrow 100% loans, most often knowingly aware of peoples inability to repay?”

“I now demand a new deal for distressed home-owners, under which our Banks and Vulture Funds, which purchased many of their Loan Books, would immediately be forced to enter into the following arrangements with borrowers. In other words, where a borrower is committed to an agreed affordable repayment situation (initially for a trial period of say 2 years), same should be permitted to keep their homes, on the condition that they abide by same pre-agreed affordable repayment. Legislation to compel these arrangements should be a priority for any incoming Government,” concluded the Independent Tipperary Deputy.

Co. Tipperary Draft Polling Scheme Prepared

Tipperary County Council have prepared a Draft Polling Scheme for County Tipperary in accordance with the the Electoral Act 1992 and the Electoral (Polling Schemes) Regulations, 2005. Copies of this Draft Polling Scheme are now available for inspection HERE or during normal office opening hours at the following venues:-

tipp-local-electionsAll public Libraries in County Tipperary.
Templemore-Thurles Municipal District Office, Slievenamon Road, Thurles. Co. Tipperary.
Civic Offices, Emmet Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
Cashel-Tipperary Municipal District Office, Rosanna Road, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary.
Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Office, Town Hall, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary.

NOTE: Representations in relation to this Draft Polling Scheme, received on or before Monday 30th November, 2015, will be considered by the Council. All representations, forwarded in writing, should be addressed to Corporate Services, Tipperary County Council, Civic Offices, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary or emailed to customerservices@tipperarycoco.ie.

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